UPDATE: Crews Remove 20-Foot Section of Ruptured Water Main
Two northbound lanes on Connecticut Avenue are open after a ruptured 60-inch main sent water gushing three stories high Monday.
Update, 1 p.m., Thursday, March 21:
Repairs to the 60-inch water main that burst Monday night in Chevy Chase continued on Thursday.
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission crews removed the damaged 20-foot section of the pipe and are working to weld a new section in place, according to a WSSC statement issued at noon Thursday.
"Once repairs to the pipe are complete later this afternoon it will take several more days for the work to conclude," the statement read.
Only the right-hand northbound lane of Connecticut Avenue between Dunlop Street and Manor Road in Chevy Chase Lake remained closed Thursday.
Mandatory water restrictions continued Thursday for Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
"There is evidence that [water] consumption is down slightly," Jim Neustadt, a WSSC spokesman, said in the release. "And we thank our customers for their efforts. Every little bit helps."
Update, 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 20:
WSSC crews were slated to remove the damaged 20-foot section of the 5-foot-in-diameter pipe on Wednesday night and replace it with a new section of pipe, according to a WSSC statement.
"Once repairs to the pipe are complete, it will take several additional days for the work in the area to conclude," the statement added.
A second northbound lane of Connecticut Avenue near the work site was opened up on Wednesday evening. The remaining northbound lane remained closed between Manor Road and Dunlop Street "so the repair crews can work safely." All southbound lanes of Connecticut Avenue remain open, according to the statement.
Update, 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 19:
All southbound lanes of Connecticut Avenue are open, and only one northbound lane is open at Chevy Chase Lake Drive during Tuesday evening's rush hour, according to a Montgomery County email alert.
The pipe that broke was a 60-inch water transmission pipe connected to a 54-inch line—not a 54-inch pipe, as originally reported, according to a WSSC statement.
Mandatory water restrictions remain in effect for Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
No residents have lost water, and the tap water is safe to drink, according to WSSC.
Update, 7:15 a.m., Tuesday, March 19:
Three southbound lanes of Connecticut Avenue have opened, according to a Montgomery County email alert. Northbound closure of Connecticut Avenue remains.
Pepco reported that 168 customers were without power east of Connecticut Avenue in the Chevy Chase Lake neighborhood. Estimated restoration time is between 9 and 10 a.m., according to Pepco's Storm Center website.
Update 6:45 a.m., Tuesday, March 19:
Connecticut Avenue remains closed in both directions between East-West Highway and Jones Bridge Road, according to a Montgomery County email alert.
"Closure is expected to remain through at least the morning rush hour. Please seek an alternate route," the alert advised.
As natural gas and electric lines run alongside the water main, employees from Washington Gas and Pepco were at the site early Tuesday to secure those lines so that work on the water main could begin as soon as possible, according to a statement from the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.
Mandatory water restrictions were put in place Tuesday morning, according to a Montgomery County email alert.
No residents were left without water, but residents of Montgomery and Prince George's counties have been asked to cut water usage by up to 10 percent until repairs are complete, which could take up to one week, according to the WSSC statement.
Update 10:45 p.m. Monday, March 18:
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission crews were working to shut down a major water main break that closed Connecticut Avenue in both directions and knocked out a traffic signal Monday night, WSSC spokesman Jerry Irvine said.
Water gushing three stories into the air caused an embankment along Connecticut Avenue at Chevy Chase Lake Drive to erode. That, in turn, caused a pole supporting the traffic signal—about 5 or 6 yards away from the break—to sink, Irvine said. The sunken pole left the signal dangling about a foot over Connecticut Avenue as of 10:30 p.m. Monday, he said.
"No one can pass it at this point," Irvine said.
Pepco's website showed eight customers without power near the scene of the break at 10:30 p.m., with estimated restoration by 1 a.m.
Irvine said "it's too early to tell" how the break could affect the morning commute. In addition to the water cleanup and the traffic signal repairs, a lot of mud needs to be cleaned up, he said.
Original post 9 p.m. Monday, March 18:
A water main break created a geyser of water that shot at least 30 feet in the air and closed Connecticut Avenue in both directions at Dunlop Street in Chevy Chase Monday night, a Montgomery County police dispatcher said.
The southbound lanes of Connecticut Avenue also are closed at Manor Road, the dispatcher said.
Mud and rubble was visible as rushing water felled trees on Chevy Chase Lake Drive near Connecticut Avenue.
Police received a report about 7:55 p.m. of the break, the dispatcher said.
Jerry Irvine, a Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission spokesman, confirmed the break at 8:45 p.m. and said he was en route to the scene.
Patch was on the scene Monday evening. Police were cautioning passersby not to walk too close to the break because the force of the water was downing trees. The break caused a large crater on Chevy Chase Lake Drive, just off Connecticut Avenue.
Motorists approaching Connecticut Avenue from Chevy Chase Lake Drive drove over rubble and debris.
A Montgomery County Police officer told Patch that the water was coming out at a high rate of speed. It had already downed one tree and officers said it was beginning to push down more. It had also felled at least one power line.
The force of the water was audibly ripping the bark from the trees.
"I've never seen anything like it," the officer told Patch.
Chevy Chase Patch will have more information as it becomes available.
No evacuations were necessary, said Assistant Chief Scott Graham, a Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman.
The only structure affected was a commercial building, Graham said.
Two 3,500-gallon tanker trucks traveled from the upcounty to hold water released by the broken main, he added.
This story has been updated.